Monday, January 28, 2008

Chapter Sixty Seven - don't crack your cheekbones

Fake smiles.
Canned laughter.
Forced hilarity.
It's all bullshit.
And that's what this date is going to be.
The last thing I want to be doing tonight is going out with a comedian. The 'funny guy'. Like salt in the wound his cheesy grin and slapstick crap is just going to make me feel worse. In the shadow of the Ade fiasco this is painful.
Jonny Kowlowski? Never heard of him. He's an 'up-and-coming' comedian. Whatever that means. And so I'm standing, trying to take deep breaths of the stinging, cold night air as I brace myself outside Circus Space.
I'm going in.

I spot him immediately. The wiry guy standing by the crash mats, hands on hips as he guffaws whilst dropping 3 juggling balls.
Doesn't say much for his sense of humour if THAT makes him laugh.
And why are comedians NEVER good-looking? Name me one! Is it a kind of warped chicken-and-egg syndrome? Are they funny because they've HAD to be? Or does their ugliness simply add to their funniness?
Funniness? Is that a word....
I don't want to go over there and I'm relieved to notice Ross and Darren, fumbling about with their video equipment near the back wall. Thankful for something resembling a half-friendly face, I walk across to them, nearly getting my head chopped off by a passing trapeze artist swinging particularly low.
"Careful!" she shouts at me as she tarzans her way across the room.
I mumble under my breath at her. I sound like Muttley from the cartoons.

I'm wondering who the curly-haired guy is with Ross and Darren. Probably an assistant or something, or maybe our contact at Circus Space. He has that friendly look to him. You know, the kind of look that makes you know you'll feel comfortable with him. His dark curls resemble the guy who won Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph competition and he looks casual and relaxed in his rugby polo shirt and jeans. They look up at me as I get closer.
"Sophie!" he smiles a dazzling wide smile and reaches out his hand to shake mine.
"Hi." I can't help but smile back but when Ross and Darren both stand to greet me I have to admit that I'm cringing as I wonder whether they know what a shit Ade was after the last date.
"OK?" I announce bravely, "what we doing then? I've seen him already. Over there making a complete fool of himself. I hope you're not expecting me to continually laugh at his crap jokes, cos I'm really not in the mood."
Darren smiles a strange smile at me, "No. We're not expecting that. Not at all. Em, what are YOU expecting Sophie?"
I shrug, a stroppy teenager refusing to make eye contact, "Well by the way he's carrying on over there I doubt he's going to be a laugh a minute is he? But don't they say that's always the way with comedians? They try so hard to be funny all the time that they're actually boring as hell?"
The assistant placed his arm around my shoulders as he leaned toward me and whispered in my ear, his curls tickling my cheek, "I promise I won't try to be a laugh a minute. Although I can't guarantee that you'll find it hilarious watching me try the static trapeze and tight-rope walk."
Frowning, I turn to face him. "Sorry?"
"I didn't get the chance," his voice was deep but soft as he extended his hand once again, "Jonny Kowlowski. 'Up-and-coming' comedian who doesn't continually tell crap jokes or make a complete fool of himself. At least, not all of the time."
I feel myself blush. Furiously.
"Yeah," he smiled, "oh. No problem. But I have to say, I'm rather disappointed that you thought I'd look like HIM over there!"

Maybe this won't be the disaster that I'd expected. Jonny seems relaxed and at ease with himself and as I watch him taking in the diabolo spinners, the jugglers and trapeze artists I come to the conclusion that this date might actually be fun. I'm not sure that he knows about the grand gestures and horrendous date I had with Ade, maybe he knows that I'm feeling fragile and running on empty, but maybe he doesn't.

Either way, he seems like easy company.

And that's a great first step...

Chapter Sixty Six
Chapter Sixty Eight

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